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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Beach Slang at Union Transfer, Ground Up at Bourbon and Branch, Live From The Lot at Electric Factory, and more…

Beach Slang
Beach Slang at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company | photo by James Breslin for WXPN

There might have been some rumors that punk rockers Beach Slang were going to break up recently, but their response? “If you’re still in, we are.” Well so are we. The band returns to Union Transfer tonight to light the venue on fire with blood, sweat, and rock and roll. Opening the show will be Potty Mouth, Dyke Drama, and Positive No. For tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Pinkwash at LAVA Space, Laser Background at Ortlieb’s, Pkew Pkew Pkew at Deep Sea Hideout and more…

Pinkwash |photo by AmyJuneBreesman | courtesy of the artist
Pinkwash |photo by AmyJuneBreesman | courtesy of the artist

After a series of cathartic, aggressive and gripping early releases, Philly power duo Pinkwash stepped up their game even more for their debut LP Collective Sigh, out today on Don Giovanni records. Everything that was awesome about the Your Cure Your Soil EP and the Cancer Money 7″ – the bare-knuckled riffage of Joey Doubek, the propulsive rhythms of Ashley Arwine, the interlocking and sort of proggy complexity – is totally intact. What’s new is a huge embrace of hookiness, making it one of the hardest-hitting indie pop albums you’ll hear this year (or one of the catchiest punk records). Pinkwash headlines West Philly’s LAVA Space tonight before heading on a month-long tour; tickets and more information on the show can be found here. Read the band’s recent interview with our John Morrison and listen to Collective Sigh in its entirety below.
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jonathan Richman at Union Transfer, Tinmouth at Johnny Brenda’s, Coal Town Rounders at Bourbon and Branch

Jonathan richman | photo courtesy of the artist
Jonathan richman | photo courtesy of the artist

Rock and roll roadrunner Jonathan Richman has released heaps of material throughout his musical career, and he plays at Union Transfer tonight to support his new record, Ishkode! Ishkode! Richman is the Modern Lovers, and his gig at UT will surely mix old classics along with new material. Read our interview with Richman here; for tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cherry at Kung Fu Necktie, Laura Gibson at Johnny Brenda’s, Josh Nussbaum at Bourbon and Branch

Cherry | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
Cherry | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Russell Edling’s Cherry released their debut EP, Gloom, with Lame-O back in February, and they will be holding the record release show at Kung Fu Necktie tonight with Sun Organ, Lowercase Roses, and Cave People. The band stopped by The Key studio to perform a session last week which you can listen to below. For tickets to their gig at KFN, check out the XPN Concert Calender. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Slingshot Dakota at Everybody Hits, Aphra at Bourbon and Branch, The Smith Street Band at Boot and Saddle, and more…

Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

Bethlehem indie-punk duo Slingshot Dakota released their new album Break earlier this month via Topshelf Records, and they will be throwing their Philly record release at Everybody Hits tonight. The bill will also include Petal, Hurry, and Mercury Girls. We also premiered the band’s Key Studio Session on Thursday. Tickets and more information can be found via the XPN Concert Calender. Continue reading →

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Meet starry-eyed singer-songwriter Josh Nussbaum, see him at Bourbon and Branch on Sunday

Josh Nussbaum | photo courtesy of the artist
Josh Nussbaum | photo courtesy of the artist

On Josh Nussbaum‘s bandcamp, his music is tagged as “space twang.” Take that as you will, but his minimalist take on folk music and psychedelia is both fresh and modern. He released his first EP, titled What Already Is, back in January, and he’ll be playing this Sunday at Bourbon and Branch.

What Already Is contains five expansive and introspective songs ranging from instrumental guitar finger-picking to spoken word poetry to Americana. Continue reading →

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Give Me TV, Give Me Something: The melancholic intensity of Aphra’s Rebecca Way

Aphra
Aphra | photo by Megan Matuzak | courtesy of the artist

It’s 10 p.m. and Rebecca Way is crouched in fetal position in the middle of a frigid, musky Philadelphia warehouse. The spacious room is filled with an eclectic assortment of objects befitting a garage sale – an antique dinner table, a dusty sofa, a potted cactus, a stack of books, an old Epson scanner. The building releases a deep rumble every few minutes as the nearby Market-Frankford El passes by. Suddenly, Way, clad in an all-black outfit that matches the color of her hair, pops up and begins to nimbly roll her way around the cold concrete floor. She’s in the middle of rehearsing her music video for “Geranimo,” the first single from Sadness Is a Gesture – the debut EP from her one-woman project Aphra, set to be released this spring.

Way barks commands to her backup dancers, a group of three hip twenty-somethings: “Pump! Pump! Frankenstein! Frankenstein! Body roll!” But in between run-throughs she also casually ruminates on twerking with one of the dancers, asking, “Don’t you have to be able to like, vibrate?” They share a laugh, and the rehearsal continues.
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PREMIERE: Watch the new video for “Geranimo” from Aphra

Rebecca Way of Aphra | Photo by Megan Matuzak
Rebecca Way of Aphra | Photo by Megan Matuzak

The new music video for “Geranimo,” released today by Aphra, is a like a prism. If you shine light on it at the right angle, it produces a rainbow. But if you’re at the wrong angle, you just have plain white light. Much in the same way, the video begins with a mutating spectrum of colors — yellow morphs to purple then to pink — as the eerie sound of a children’s music box comes to life. Suddenly, the color dissipates, the perfect angle lost.

Throughout the rest of the video — some of which is shot in black and white — color is in short supply. Even when the camera technically is shooting in “color,” there’s little to be seen in the backdrop that consists of a brick wall coated in white paint and tables covered with white cloth. Every once in a while, though, a touch of color darts in front of the camera, a brief moment of warmth in what feels like an otherwise desolate place. Continue reading →